My dad wanted to watch the UCLA-TCU game at his desk, and I figured others would be interested, as well: Here’s the link, enjoy
Jon Gold: Alright, Huff, one more time: Brett Hundley. Is this going to happen?
Brandon Huffman: “In my opinion, they’re very much in it. They’re in his top two. I think it’s an Oregon-UCLA battle for him. But I think part of it is the expectation that UCLA has to sign an elite quarterback, and he’s ranked high. We’re a little responsible for it by ranking guys at certain spots. Hundley is a guy who’s really highly thought of, and he does have a good arm. The feeling by most of the guys is that he’s the guy they need. But if you look back just a couple years ago, Kevin Prince became that late edition to the class, and he wasn’t a four-star quarterback. He wasn’t an All-American. Nick Crissman was that guy. Now Prince is the two-year starter as a sophomore.”
JG: Norm Chow has the reputation of being a quarterback guru, but not all of his future stars were that highly ranked. Can he develop the next Matt Leinart?
BH: “Because he was the Mater Dei quarterback, he was thought highly of. A guy UCLA and Oklahoma recruited, and they had just won a National Championship. At the same time, he really developed through Chow. What fans at UCLA fail to realize is that he didn’t have to be the guy until the third season. He had an incredible amount of talent around him and an incredible line. For Chow, his first year, the top two quarterbacks get hurt and then in his second year, there’s a redshirt freshman. It’s not like Chow’s gotten a full collection of chess pieces to work with.”
This is an absolute, hands-down, no-doubt-about-it must-read. ESPN’s incredible Tom Friend wrote this on Tuesday about former UCLA goalkeeper David Vanole. In the wake of the USA’s miraculous win yesterday, the timing couldn’t be better.
Please read this: The Espophagus that Saved US Soccer
Has UCLA’s recruiting stalled a little bit?
“Last year, they didn’t get their first commit until first week in June. Second and third came the exact same time last year, span of 24 hours. By the end of June, they had commitments from Moore, Nottingham, McDonald and Flowers. What I think it is, because they have such few scholarships, they’re being a lot more judicious. Quite a few went out at the camp, and the way they changed format, more went out now than normal. You’ll see things pick up more. But because the class is small and they’re going after big fish, it will be a more top-heavy class. Those are the guys who wait til December, January to decide.”
Besides quarterback, what do they need RIGHT NOW?
“They definitely need linemen on both sides of the ball. Two tackle commits help. All three guys they signed last year are inside guys, and they got two really long players so far this year. Torian White is a legit 6-5, Marc Mustoe is 6-7. With X-man being gone, really after the next couple years you don’t have many natural tackles. They’re really addressing tackles now. The problem is it’s not a great year for linemen out west. They’ve had to offer a bunch of project guys.”
I’m on the phone right now with Brandon Huffman, and he just told me that Marc Mustoe, the No. 73 OT in the country, committed to UCLA today.
Here’s his profile: Mustoe
With the lack of quality big men out west this year, this is an important project commit, and if he can put on some more upper body strength, he’ll be a contributor at some point. Much like Torian White, this isn’t a starter for next year, but could be someone to look out for.
Check out the first batch of weekly answers…
Also, I had Huffman on the phone but my phone died, and now he’s hanging out with family for a while. I’ll do my best to reach him tonight, but tomorrow at the latest for a weekend recruiting recap.
This is absolutely crazy, but I just found out that Razor Entertainment released a set of U.S. Army All-American Bowl cards, complete with autographs and rookie cards of several UCLA prospects.
Among those included: Owa Odighizuwa, Anthony Barr and Cassius Marsh.
Pretty early for rookie cards, if you ask me, but very cool nonetheless.
Here’s a scan of the Anhony Barr Rookie Auto, which could be worth a few bucks in a few years…
Checking in from Omaha with Scout.com’s Brandon Huffman this afternoon to talk about the two camps at UCLA this weekend. There was not an over-abundance of talent, but certainly some guys to watch.
I’ll try to get on the horn with an incoming freshman to talk about the transition to dorm life so far, too.
Also, and here’s the kicker…
I had an incredible hour-long Q&A with Dan Guerrero a couple days ago on several subjects: Pac-10 expansion, UCLA football, USC sanctions, John Wooden, UCLA basketball, and his favorite topic, UCLA baseball.
Should I roll that out throughout the week, or would you rather get the full plate next Monday?
Thanks for checking in even when the updates are sparse, there’s just not a ton to report on the football and basketball front.
OMAHA, Neb. –
The loss of Tyler Rahmatulla to a broken wrist before the College World Series left two holes for UCLA, and both were gaping.
Rahmatulla batted third in 61 games for the Bruins and started at second base, a crucial defensive position behind a star-studded pitching staff.
On Monday at Omaha’s Rosenblatt Stadium, both of his replacements filled in admirably, both in the field and at the plate, in UCLA’s 6-3 win over TCU.
Dean Espy entered the starting lineup at third base, with Cody Regis sliding over to second, and the UCLA sophomore had a beautiful play in the third innings.
After Gerrit Cole walked Aaron Schultz with one down in the third inning, Espy caught a smoking drive down the third base line by Horned Frogs’ No. 9-hitter Brance Rivera, and fired the ball to first nail Schultz for the double play.
It was a far cry from Saturday’s 11-3 win over Florida, when Espy and Regis looked a bit nervous early against the Gators.
“We were a little shaky those first couple innings,” UCLA head coach John Savage said. “It was like, ‘Oh, God, what’s going on at third? What’s going on at second?!?’ Hey, we’re gonna have moments. But we’ve also prepared for those moments.”